Hello, friends, and welcome! Today I’m going to show you how to make a fantastic, French-style mixed berry jam recipe. It only uses the pectin already contained in the fruit. This is also fairly low-sugar compared to some jam recipes, so the flavor of the fruit really shines.

Try it on some sprouted wheat English muffins or smeared on some soft Tangzhong pain au lait. You’re going to love it.

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A jar full of mixed berry jam with a spoon in it.

More jam recipes to try: cran-raspberry jam, fig jam, strawberry balsamic preserves, and onion jam.

This is my go-to jam recipe. It’s perfect every time. Not too sweet, just right. My husband and I really enjoy it on top of ice cream. Thanks for sharing an easy and yummy recipe!

Reader Dahlia

Easy Mixed Berry Jam, At a Glance

✅Skill Level: Beginner
✅Skills: Macerating fruit, using an instant-read thermometer
✅Type: Jam
✅Number of Ingredients: 5 total Berries: 3 types, The Rest: 2
✅Prep Time: 5 minutes
✅Cook Time: 30 minutes
✅Macertaing Time: 4 hours
✅Yield: About 32 oz jam

Related Recipes: French-Style Strawberry Preserves, French-Style Blueberry Jam

Jump Straight to the Recipe

What Makes This a French-Style Jam?

The short answer is that this jam is packed with fruit, is lower in sugar than a traditional American-style jam, and doesn’t have extra pectin in it.

It’s thickened only with the natural pectin present in the fruit and the thickening you get from reducing the jam on the stove.

NOTE: By and large, traditional French jams are made using just one type of fruit, so this mixed berry version is a hybrid, but it’s a delicious hybrid!

So What Makes This Easy?

A full-on traditional French jam takes a couple of days to make. You let the fruit hang out in sugar for several hours to overnight, then there’s a quick boil.

Then there’s straining out the juices and reserving the fruit.

Then there’s another boil the next day.

So while old-school French jam isn’t hard to make, it does take some time.

This mixed berry jam recipe employs a much shorter maceration period–just enough to coax some of the juices out of the fruit–with a hard, fast boil so you can have jam the same day you think to yourself, “Hey, I think I’d like to make some jam!”

How to Make It

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

Collage of ingredients for making French-style jam
  • mixed berries: I used a combination of fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Although I only had 6 ounces of raspberries, the jam really tastes mostly like raspberry jam. Go figure!
  • granulated sugar: Provides sweetness and “setability” as well as helping draw moisture out of the fruit to soften it and provide intense flavor
  • lemon juice: Helps adjust the pH of the jam allowing it to set. Plus the lemon provides just the right amount of tartness to balance the sweetness

Procedure

If you are familiar with making jam and want to get on with it, you can jump straight to the recipe.

This jam is really easy to make. I promise. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Wash: Start with clean berries, so give them a nice rinse. Since I was using strawberries that were a lot larger than the blueberries and raspberries, I cut them in half or sometimes into quarters. This also has the added benefit of slicing open the plant cells making it much easier for the sugar to get the juices flowing
  2. Macerate the fruit: This is just a fancy way of saying “let the fruit hang out in the sugar and lemon juice.” I think I let mine sit about 4 hours or so. Even an hour will help the juices flow, but the longer you can let the fruit macerate–up to 24 hours or so–the more intensely fruity your jam will be
  3. Mash as much or as little as you want: You can leave all the fruit whole to have more of a preserve, but I like the texture of a jam, so I used my potato masher to mash up some of the fruit so I had pulpy, jammy goodness along with some whole fruit
  4. Boil: Bring to a boil in a pan that’s wider than it is tall (if you have one). The larger surface area allows the jam to get to setting temperature more quickly and help avoid an overly cooked flavor to your jam. But if all you have is a narrower pot, go for it. Your jam will still be delicious even if it takes a bit longer to cook.

Macerating: It Really Is Easy

Here’s how you macerate, with photos! Super easy:

Collage of 4 images showing how to macerate fruit in sugar and lemon juice.
  1. Start with rinsed berries. Cut down larger fruits so all the pieces are roughly the same size.
  2. Combine the sugar and lemon juice with the fruit.
  3. Stir to mix evenly.
  4. Slap on a lid–you can use a silicone one like I did here, or cover with foil or plastic wrap, use a lidded container or be super French and cut a round of parchment to set down on top of the fruit–and walk away. Let the fruit do its thing. If it’s cool in your kitchen and you’re macerating for only a few hours (say up to 6 or so), it’s fine to do this at room temperature. During the summer, or if macerating for a longer period of time, refrigerate the macerating fruit

Tips for Success

This jam is fairly foolproof to make, but here are some tips for making sure it comes out beautifully every time you make it.

I strongly urge you to get a scale. That way, no matter what proportion of sugar to fruit you decide to go with, you’ll be able to accurately weigh it. I love my Escali Primo scale and use it every day.

The magic temperature for jam to set correctly is 223F. An accurate instant-read thermometer or candy thermometer takes the guesswork out of jam making.

If you prefer a looser jam, only cook to 221F, but for me, the sweet spot is 223F/106C.

Testing Jam without a Thermometer

If you don’t have a thermometer, you can put 2-3 small plates in your freezer and use that to test your jam. Here’s how:

  1. After 10-15 minutes of boiling, put a spoonful of jam on one of the cold plates.
  2. Put the plate back in the freezer for a minute or so.
  3. Push the little blob of jam with your finger. If it wrinkles up, it’s good to go. If not, or if it’s still very runny, allow it to boil for another 5-10 minutes and then test again using another of the plates from the freezer.

Serving Suggestions

I probably don’t really need to tell you how to use jam, but I do have some recipes this jam will go perfectly with. Take your pick, and enjoy!

My grits bread toasts up beautifully, and it would absolutely be delicious spread with butter and some of this jam.

Spread some on my chocolate pancakes!

Or spread it on these lovely spent grain English muffins or sprouted English muffins. And don’t forget croissants. That’s a natural pairing, and I think you’ll love my easy croissant recipe.

Use the jam as the filling in sandwich cookies like Linzer cookies. It would be pretty spectacular used to sandwich together my raspberry shortbread sandwich cookies.

Trifle is one of my favorite desserts. Use the jam as a layer in my Auntie Ev’s traditional English trifle recipe.

French Jam Q & A

A spoonful of jam on a spoon with a spreader on a white plate.
How do I make a full-on French jam?

Here’s a great recipe for strawberry jam made over 2 days. Technically, it’s a preserve since all the fruit is kept whole. This kind of jam is magical, so if you have the time and patience, do give it a try!

What about canning this jam?

I am not a canner. I do know that many folks in France can their jam using the inversion method, which is just to pour the jam into clean jars with very little headspace and then turn them upside down. If they seal, they’re good to go on the shelf. If not, refrigerate them. This method is not an approved method here in the US. For food safety consult the USDA’s Center for Home Food Preservation guide for the proper amount of both sugar and acid in your jam along with the Rules for canning.

What can I do with it?

Aside from making the best peanut butter and jelly or jelly toast on the planet, use this as a cake filling, as a filling for raspberry donuts, to make a traditional English trifle, to sandwich macarons, etc. Enjoy it in as many ways as possible!

How long will this jam keep?

Since my jam is a lower-sugar French-style jam, it should be fine for a few weeks, or about a month or so. If you use a higher percentage of sugar in your jam, say up to 80%, it should keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this post or recipe, I am happy to help.

Simply leave a comment here and I will get back to you soon. I also invite you to ask question in my Facebook group, Fearless Kitchen Fun.

If your question is more pressing, please feel free to email me. I should be back in touch ASAP, as long as I’m not asleep.

A Note About Measurements

My recipes are almost all written by weight, including liquids, unless otherwise specified.

For accuracy and consistency of results, I encourage you to buy–and use–a kitchen scale.

I promise that baking and cleanup will be so much quicker and easier.

This is the scale that I recommend for home use. I have owned and used one for years.

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03/07/2024 05:03 pm GMT

Please Take a Moment to Rate and Review

5 golden stars for rating recipes
Square image of a full jar of jam on a white plate with a spoon in it.

Easy Mixed Berry Jam Recipe | French Berry Jam

Jennifer Field
This French-style mixed berry jam is easy to make and only contains 3 ingredients. No added pectin either. This is a natural-set jam, and I think you'll be able to taste the difference. Enjoy!
4.34 from 6 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Maceration Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Course Condiments and Jams
Cuisine French
Servings 32 1 oz servings (approximately)
Calories 25 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds mixed berries: I used a combination of raspberries blueberries, and strawberries
  • 1 pound granulated sugar about 2 cups, but weigh using a scale if possible
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions
 

  • Rinse all the berries well.
  • If using fruit of unequal size, slice the larger fruits it half or quarters.
  • Combine fruit, sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Stir well to distribute the sugar throughout.
  • Cover the bowl and let sit at cool room temperature for 4 hours. You can also allow the fruit to sit for longer, but if it’s warm in your kitchen, place the bowl in the fridge.
  • If you don’t have a thermometer, place 2-3 saucers in the freezer to use to check the set of your jam.
  • When done macerating, transfer the berries and all the juices to a wide pot.
  • Use a potato masher to mash up the berries as much or as little as you’d like to get the texture you want in your jam.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. To keep your jam sparkling clear, spoon off any foamy stuff that bubbles up and discard.
  • Allow the berries to boil at a full, rolling boil, stirring frequently. Juices will thicken and reduce.
  • After about 20 minutes, check the temperature. You're looking for 223F. If you don't have a thermometer, take one of the saucers out of the freezer and drop a little bit of jam on the cold plate. Put back in the freezer for a minute, and then push the little blob of jam with your finger. If it wrinkles up, you're good to go. If not, cook for a few minutes longer and then test again.
  • Once the jam is a good texture, pour into clean jars or 1 big jar and allow to cool.
  • Store in the fridge for up to a month. Eat on all the things.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

You can use up to an equal weight of sugar and fruit if you prefer. The jam will have a firmer set and may take less time to reach temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 25kcalCarbohydrates: 6gSugar: 6g
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

Thanks so much for spending some time with me today, friends. Enjoy this easy mixed berry jam, and take care.

Square image of a full jar of jam on a white plate with a spoon in it.

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9 Comments

  1. This jam was awesome on english muffins and as a filling for homemade tarts. I’m making it for the second time with scones in mind.

  2. This is my go-to jam recipe. It’s perfect every time. Not too sweet, just right. My husband and I really enjoy it on top of ice cream. Thanks for sharing an easy and yummy recipe!

    1. Dahlia, thank you so much for your comment, and I am thrilled you and your husband love the jam. Now I’m going to have to make some more just to put it on vanilla ice cream. Or black raspberry ice cream! Take care, and thanks again. 🙂

  3. I’m trying the mixed berry jam now. I’ve made other jams and preserves before. It’s on the stove. I’m happy if it turns out ok.

    1. Wonderful! I think you will really like it. It is a very easy Jam to make, and since there is no pectin, all you have to do is cook it until it is “jammy!” Enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    I did not make this recipe myself, but was lucky enough to receive a container of the jam from Jenni! This jam has excellent fruit flavor and has the perfect amount of sweetness. It would be excellent stirred into some greek yogurt, on top of oatmeal, or in a traditional way of the PBJ! I’m happy to have this recipe to follow when I need to make jam for the family. Thanks Jenni

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